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Business Law

Business Law News 2019, Issue 2

Executive Committee: Message from the Chair

Monique D. Jewett-Brewster

In this address, I am pleased to share more about the Business Law Section’s legislative activities as a part of the California Lawyers Association. Through its legislative activities, the BLS Standing Committees strive to improve the quality and practice of business law in California, thereby serving the public good. For these reasons, each of the Section’s fifteen Standing Committees is strongly encouraged to appoint a member to identify legislation that the Committee wishes to track, to actively track such legislation, and to coordinate with the Section’s Vice Chair of Legislation on any legislative projects undertaken by the Standing Committee.

The Section’s legislative activities have several forms. Each year, through the Section’s Standing Committees, the BLS initiates several legislative proposals that, upon approval by the BLS Executive Committee and CLA’s Director of Governmental Affairs, are offered for sponsorship in the California Legislature. These Affirmative Legislative Proposals, or "ALPs" for short, provide the Section with the direct ability to initiate bills that affect California businesses. Further, in pursuing legislative activity on behalf of the BLS, the Standing Committees are encouraged at an early stage to collaborate with and seek input from other Standing Committees or Sections of the CLA that may have expertise or interest in the proposed legislation. In this way, the BLS tries to ensure that its ALPs are vetted by attorneys with the most extensive subject matter expertise over the impact of the legislation proposed by the Section. Over the past ten years, the Corporations, Nonprofit Organizations, Commercial Transactions, Insolvency Law, Consumer Financial Services, and Partnerships and LLCs Committees, to name a few, served as proponents for Section-initiated bills that were ultimately signed into law.

The impact of the BLS on California legislation is impressive, but ALPs are only one manner in which the Standing Committees of the Business Law Section are involved in legislative activities. Standing Committee membership also offers unique access to local government officials, including regulators and legislators. For example, Standing Committees that are active in legislative matters have identified various opportunities to increase communication and interaction with regulatory agencies on matters of interest to business lawyers. Specifically, liaisons from the California Secretary of State, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Department of Business Oversight, among other agencies, have historically attended certain Standing Committees’ meetings to provide invaluable insight into proposed changes to the law or to identify regulatory developments that have a direct impact on corporate business attorneys’ practice areas.

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